Evolution of experiential learning opportunities for nursing students after natural disaster

Cindy Sickora, Rebekah J. Salt, Tracey Smith Page, Wendy Lee, Adelita G. Cantu, Moonju Lee, Karen Walker Schwab, Martha L. Martinez, David Byrd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Natural disasters, such as Hurricane Harvey, can provide unique hands-on learning experiences for nursing students. Method: The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio School of Nursing deployed teams of faculty and students to Rockport, Texas, two to three times per week to provide post-disaster relief following Hurricane Harvey. Each team included a minimum of 10 students and two faculty to provide primary care, prevention, and door-to-door canvassing. Nursing students provided physical examinations, urgent care, vaccines, first aid training, and education. Results: Across 6 months and more than 60 trips, over 200 students (supervised by 12 faculty) successfully delivered care to Rockport residents. This learning experience was invaluable for the nursing students, who expressed that "I felt like a real nurse" and "This is the best experience I have had since I decided to become a nurse." Conclusion: This intervention highlights the potential of disaster relief as a unique hands-on educational experience for nursing students.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)30-33
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Nursing Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • General Nursing


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